Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Credit Crunch Lunch

Today I had lunch with a colleague at the Carluccios just round the corner from my office. It was nice lunch, but I was partially distracted by other things...i.e. thinking that the last time I had been in there a few months ago, it had also been with a group of colleagues. Unfortunately most of those colleagues have now left due to the slowdown at work.

Since the last time I blogged about hard times at work, things have gotten worse. We now have very, very few contract staff in London and the situation in our regional offices is still very bad. Last week two people from the Glasgow office started an 8 week stint in London, a last-ditch attempt to avoid redundancy.

Last week, Lehman Brothers . This week??

On the brightside, this time last year I was working crazy hours and it was very stressful. I guess you get to the stage where you think it's normal to work till 8 every night; and over weekends too. But really it's not.... So the good thing is that these days, at 5:30 I'm thinking about going home and not about how much more I can do before the vision blurs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thames Festival: Sunday

We had such a good time on Saturday we went back to the Thames Festival on Sunday for more. We watched more free-running under the London Eye.

It wasn't as packed as Saturday but it was still very busy.

There was a Night Carnival which started at 6:30. We were right at the front so Mr KE took lots of photos.

Apart from the floats, children in costumes, puppets etc, there were also lots of scantily clad ladies dancing along the route. For some reason Mr KE took lots of photos of these ladies ...hmmmm.

One of the best floats: dragon and rider.

It was a bit cold standing on the roadside while the floats went past; but it was worth it. We went home tired but happy.

Thames Festival : Saturday

Last weekend the Thames Festival was on.

Mr KE spent both Saturday and Sunday at the South Bank. We started off on Saturday with a visit to Borough Market.

We had lunch at this place near Southwark Cathedral.

Look at the big dish of paella (spanish seafood rice).

I had paella and Mr KE had a burger.

We walked past the Golden Hind.

There was lots going on; shows, food and special events.

As part of the festival there was boat race on the Thames and we watched the boats from the South Bank.

It was really interesting with all sorts of boats racing; dragon boats, big boats and little row boats.

The bridges along the Thames were packed with spectators. This is Blackfriars Bridge. If you click on the picture, you'll see the crowds and a London Bus going past.

There was lots of free entertainment, like this martial arts show sponsored by the Korean Tourist Board.

This show is called Jump, and it has travelled around the world. Hooray, we saw it for free and it was very funny.

Food stalls were everywhere. There was literally food from every corner of the world.

This was a French/Creole/New Orleans type stall. We were impressed by the giant pots.

We saw this guy on the outside of the Tate Modern.

Specially commissioned graffiti. I hope you can appreciate the scale, because he is huge.

These guys were there too.

This is a close up on the "brain" from the photo above.

The detail on the graffiti is incredible.

By the time we got to Waterloo, it was dark.

We watched some free-running (parkour). It was not bad, lots of youth groups trained by the guys who did the stunts in Casino Royale.

As night fell and the tide went out, there was a big party on the shore of the Thames.

I'm sure you will agree, it was lovely day out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Red Shoes

It's late on Sunday night; Mr KE and I have had a really busy (but fun) weekend so just a short post for now.

I just thought I'd show you my new Camper shoes that I have been wearing all weekend.

They are really comfortable and flat-ish. Best of all, they don't look too ugly :) I just can't bring myself to buy flat shoes but for practical reasons, I have put my high heeled shoes away. So bye bye kinky boots and bye bye silly shoes, I'll see you again soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Good Food / Bad Food

On Thursday night I had dinner at Benihana on Sackville Street, in Piccadilly. It was a work do, with some colleagues from Sweden and their top Clients. It is a teppanyaki restaurant i.e. a Japanese hotplate with the chef cooking all the food fresh in front of you. Very tasty, fresh and healthy food; the chefs are entertaining and do lots of tricks with their knives, tossing things around etc...well you get the picture. The main drawback is that you end up smelling like fried food when you come out!

That was definitely good food. Unfortunately I was in work mode, so no pictures but I came home tired but happy.

Tonight (Friday) Mr K-E and I met in the West End after work and we had dinner in town before coming home. I actually wanted to try a Mexican place called Wahaca, but the queue was tooooo long. TGI Fridays is just across the road from Wahaca, so we went in there. My suggestion = big mistake.

The food was bad. We haven't been into TGiFridays (or any of the others i.e. Hard Rock, Panet Hollywood etc) for more than 12 years and now I realise why. I had chicken wings, fries and onion rings while Mr K-E had his usual steak fajita. Everything tasted of salt. Or sugar. The steak didn't taste like beef. The onion rings weren't onion-ey. *sigh*

The best thing about the meal was our shared starter (a chicken quesadilla). Even Mr K-E's beers weren't cold enough. Tasteless food and expensive too!! How annoying .......Ggrrrrr.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tired on a Monday night

Sorry for the lack of updates; we have been busy lately and I have been too lazy to blog :)

Some things we have been up to:

  • Mr K-E's work had their (late) summer party at the Royal Festival Hall. It was on the 5th Floor Terrace and the guests enjoyed a lovely sunset view of the Thames, drinks and canapes. There was jazz band in the early evening and then later, a covers band to get the party into full swing. I didn't stay long, just long enough to do the "supportive" wife act, hahaha.
  • We have been trying to clear out our flat...not easy...where does all this stuff come from? Aaargghh, all my books and shoes.....
  • I had the day off on Friday and spent the afternoon in town shopping (hmmm, see point above...this is where all the stuff comes from..) I discovered a Busaba Eathai behind Selfridges. A Thai version of Wagamamas, v v good.
I'm sure we have been up to more, but at the moment I am too exhausted to think. I'm just sitting on the sofa waiting for our pizza to be delivered. Yep, it's a lazy night.

I'll just leave you with this picture of a cute coffee van which was parked outside our flat a few weeks ago. Doesn't it look like a toy?